home ecba leagues championships the game rules linkscalendarcontact

Champion of Champions 2015

The Champion of Champions returned to Wolsingham, County Durham for a second time, over the weekend of 6th & 7th June.

Representatives from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Durham, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northumberland, Suffolk and Sunderland all competed in the Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours disciplines.

With an event of this size and every team playing so many games, it is often the case that the winners are decided well before the final round, but, with the exception of one discipline, that was not the case this year, as the event produced three nail-biting finishes.

It was a good start for Suffolk and Durham who both won their first 3 games, while everyone else had lost at least once.

Durham went on to win their fourth while Suffolk had to sit out a round. So Saturday ended with Durham on 8 points from 4 games, Cambridgeshire on 6 points from 4 games and Suffolk on 6 points from 3 games.

Sunday started with wins for Durham and Cambridgeshire, but a loss for Suffolk. And Durham made it six wins out of six in the next session, and was now 4 points ahead of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, although both had a game in hand.

It was Durham's turn to sit out the next round, while Suffolk and Cambridgeshire played one another. The result saw a win for Cambridgeshire to go into a clear second place.

The final round of games saw leader Durham (12 pts & 64 shots) play fourth placed Suffolk (8 pts) while second placed Cambridgeshire (10 pts & 56 shots) played Sunderland (9 pts).

With a 2 points and 8 shot advantage it looked unlikely that Ian Clark (Durham) would take home the trophy, all Jamie Smith (Cambridgeshire) could do was to get a big win and hope for the best. And despite the fact that he was up against two time champion Martin Campbell (Sunderland), that was just what he did, romping away to a 13-3 win, his best of the weekend.

Despite that win Ian coould still aford to lose his game and take home the trophy, all he needed (with the last game already having finished) was 6 shots in his game against David Ford (Suffolk). It was a steady start to the game, but David took the advantage with all 4 on the 5th end, to lead 6-2. Ian clawed it back to 4-6 with 2 ends to go, by which time he knew exactly what he needed to do, just pick up 2 shots. But David had other ideas, he won the 7th end to lead 7-4and with the jack pushed back on the final end Ian was in an all but impossible position with his last wood to play and adly failed, losing 8-4.

Despite having led for the whole weekend and winning every game up until the last round Ian just slipped at the final hurdle, allowing Jamie to come through and take the title by a single shot.

Winner: Jamie Smith (Cambridgeshire)

Durham and Suffolk both started with wins in their first two games which they each followed up with a loss. Meanwhile Cambridgeshire, having already sat out a session had two wins out of two.

Cambridgeshire went on to make it 3 wins out of 3 and were now a point clear of both Hertfordshire and Suffolk, with a game in hand.

However Saturday finished with a first loss for Cambridgeshire at the hands of Hertfordshire which put them top, although they had played a game more than their rivals who were bunched up behind them. Hertfordshire were on 7 points from 5 games, Cambridgeshire and Durham had 6 points from 4 games and Suffolk and Northumberland were on 5 points from 4 games. All to play for on the second day.

It was another win for Hertfordshire, while Cambridgeshire and Durham both lost on Sunday morning, meant that Herts were starting to look very strong. And they consolidated their lead with another win which gave them a 3 point lead over Cambridgeshire and Durham, although both had still played one game less than the leaders. In fact there was now a group of 5 teams, covered by a single point, waiting for Hertfordshire to slip up.

The leaders had to sit out the penultimate round, however their closest rivals (Cambridgeshire and Durham) both lost, leaving Suffolk and Northumberland, who both recorded wins, as the only other teams who could still deprive Herts of the title. However they each 2 points adrift.

Northumberland fell out of the running with a narrow loss, although Suffolk ran out 13-1 winners over Durham. All Hertfordshire needed was a draw and although they were behind for most of their game against Norfolk they were never far adrift and went into the final end only 5-6 down. A single shot would have been enough but the end went to Norfolk and title went to Suffolk.

Despite a good start on Saturday they had ended the first day in 7th place with only 5 points from 5 games. However 3 wins from 3 games on Sunday saw them rise to 4th, 2nd and eventually 1st place to win the title by 4 shots.

Winners: Andy Pooley & David O'Brien (Suffolk)

It was a 3-way tie for the lead with 2 games played as Hertfordshire, Sunderland and Bedfordshire opened up with a pair of wins. But while Sunderland sat out the third session the other two managed to lose.

However over the next two sessions a pair of wins for Durham raised them to the top of the standings, albeit having played a game more than their closest rivals. Durham, then, were on 7 points from 5 games, Sunderland on 6 points from 4 and Hertfordshire on 5 points from 4. However with the next 5 teams all on 4 points anything could still happen.

Sunday saw Durham knocked off the top as they lost, while Sunderland and Hertfordshire won to put themselves into the top two positions on 10 and 9 points respectively.

And with Hertfordshire and Sunderland both winning their next games, everything was set up for the next round which would see them playing one another in a match that could well settle the title for Sunderland if they won it.

But it turned out to be a rampant Hertfordshire who won, with a more than convincing 14-4, taking them to the top by one point and, importantly, a 24 shot advantage.

Hertfordshire started their game against Bedfordshire well, but slipped behind in the middle part of the game, after which they never looked like winning as Beds took an 11-6 win. Meanwhile Sunderland held a good lead, 8-5 up with 2 ends to go, they lost 2 on the penultimate end and just needed to hang onto their lead, but their opponents Norfolk had other ideas and as the jack was pushed out the corner of the mat Sunderland just failed to get in and Norfolk snatched the game 9-8 to leave Hertfordshire winners by 1 point.

And to make matters worse for Sunderland they even lost second as Cambridgeshire came through to steal the runner-up spot by 1 shot.

Winners: Jonathan & Ian Carter and David Danby (Hertfordshire)

With two games played it was Cambridgeshire who led the way with three wins out of three, while Suffolk were on 2 wins out of 2, having sat one session out.

Another win and a draw saw Cambridgeshire finish the day looking good at the top of the standings on 9 points, three clear of Northumberland and 4 ahead of Suffolk, who still had a game in hand, while 5 other teams were sat on 4 points.

With a good lead and having already having played their nearest rivals Cambridgeshire were very much in pole position.

Sunday began with another win for Cambridgeshire, while the nearest opposition all managed to lose. That left the leaders 5 points clear of Northumberland, Sunderland, Hertfordshire and Essex, although the last 3 teams all had a game in hand.

While Cambridgeshire sat out a round it was Essex who were emerging as the strongest opposition, although they were 3 points adrift, with 2 games to go.

The penultimate round of games saw a small slip from Cambridgeshire. A draw against Durham was only the second point they had dropped all weekend, however their opposition failed to capitalise, Essex lost and with a game to go Cambridgeshire were three points ahead and safe.

And knowing that they might have allowed themselves to relax, despite a good start they fell to a 13-8 defeat at the hands of Essex.

The final standings were closer than it looked as if it might have been at one stage. Essex and Suffolk finished on 10 points, Hertfordshire came through as runners-up on 11 points while Cambridgeshire finished on 12 to retain the title.

Winners: Beryl Wicks, Barry Giddens, Maureen Giddens & Colin Wicks (Cambridgeshire)

For most of Saturday Cambridgeshire and Suffolk looked like they were the ones to beat, but as the day came to a close it was Durham that were making the strongest finish.

With an odd number of teams competing, it meant that that everyone would have to sit out a session at one time or another, the teams wouldn't be on the same number of games played until the close of play on Sunday. However for the time being it was Cambridgeshire and Durham who led the way on 25 points each from 18 games, while Suffolk had 3 games in hand over each of them, but were 5 points behind.

While everything was changing behind them, with teams coming and going, one constant remained. Cambridgeshire remained top throughout Sunday.

The spots just behind them were all very close , Sunderlnad finished 5th on 35 points, Durham faded to 4th on 36 points, Suffolk picked up late on Sunday to finish third on 37, while Hertfordshire came on strong to take second on 38 points, but Cambridgeshire were clear winners on 44 points, retaining their title.

Winners: Cambridgeshire

A full copy of the results can be found here.

updated 08/06/15